Accelerating the discovery of a cure for ALS.

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Dr. Robert Brown is head of neurology at University of Massachusetts Medical School and UMass Memorial Medical Center. Previously, Dr. Brown served as Director of the Day Neuromuscular Research Laboratory and Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) Clinic at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Brown graduated from Harvard Medical School and completed his doctoral training in neurophysiology at Oxford University. Dr. Brown trained in Neurology at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Brown, both a research scientists and a neurologist who sees patients, began studying ALS in 1979. He works on basic discoveries in RNA interference technology. In 1984, The Day Neuromuscular Research Laboratory was founded by Dr. Brown to investigate neuromuscular diseases, including Miyoshi myopathy and ALS.


Dr. Lucie Bruijn joined The ALS Association in January 2001 as is currently the Chief Scientist. Prior to that Dr. Bruijn led a small team at Bristol Myers Squibb developing in vitro and in vivo model systems for neurodegenerative disease. Dr. Bruijn received her Bachelor's degree in Pharmacy at Rhodes University, South Africa. She received a Master's degree in Neuroscience and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry, specializing in disease mechanisms of Alzheimer's disease, at the University of London, United Kingdom. She received her MBA at Imperial College, London, United Kingdom. Dr. Bruijn joined Dr. Don Cleveland's laboratory in 1994 where she developed and characterized a mouse model of ALS (mice expressing the familial-linked SOD1 mutation). Using this model her studies focused on disease mechanisms. In addition, in collaboration with Dr. Robert Brown she looked for neurofilament mutations in familial and sporadic ALS patients. At The ALS Association, Dr. Bruijn leads a global ALS research effort, Translational Research to Advance Therapies for ALS (TREAT ALS™) with the goal to move treatment options from “bench to bedside.” She has made it a priority to collaborate with other funding agencies, in particular The National Institutes of Health, The Department of Defense and many other not-for-profit ALS organizations, as well as other foundations focusing on neurodegenerative research. These collaborations ensure that increased dollars are spent on ALS research.


Dr. Merit Cudkowicz is the Julianne Dorn Professor of Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital, at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Cudkowicz completed medical training at the Health Science and Technology program of Harvard Medical School, and she was a resident in Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital. She obtained a Master's degree in Clinical Epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Cudkowicz's research and clinical activities are dedicated to the study and treatment of patients with neurodegenerative disorders, in particular amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Dr. Cudkowicz directs the Mass General ALS clinic and the Neurological Clinical Research Institute (NCRI) (formerly the NCTU). She is one of the founders and co-directors of the Northeast ALS Consortium (NEALS), a group of 92 clinical sites in the United States and Canada dedicated to performing collaborative academic led clinical trials in ALS. In conjunction with the NEALS consortium, she planned and completed seven multi-center clinical trials in ALS and is currently leading three new trials in ALS. Dr. Cudkowicz received the American Academy of Neurology 2009 Sheila Essay ALS award. She is actively mentoring young neurologists in clinical investigation. Dr. Cudkowicz is on the Research Council of the American Academy of Neurology and the medical advisory board for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.


Dr. Toby Ferguson is the Medical Director of the ALS iHub at Biogen, a position he assumed in 2015 shortly after joining Biogen in October 2013. In this role, he serves as a clinical lead for current clinical ALS programs. He has also worked closely with neurology research and colleagues in ALS development to develop a strategy for development of ALS therapies and to improve ALS trial effectiveness. Prior to Biogen, he was the Assistant Professor of Neurology at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA, and had a clinical neuromuscular neurology practice and a lab focused on peripheral axon injury and regeneration at Shriners Research Center. Dr. Ferguson obtained an M.D. and Ph.D. (Neuroscience) from the University of Florida. He went on to complete his Neurology Residency in 2006 and his Fellowship in Neuromuscular Neurology in 2010 at the University of Pennsylvania.


Dr. Adrian Ivinson is the Executive Director of the Ann Romney Center for Neurological Diseases at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, MA. He is founding Director and Director of Translational Research at the Harvard NeuroDiscovery Center (originally the Harvard Center for Neurodegeneration and Repair), an integrated and tightly managed research center engaged in groundbreaking and collaborative neuroscience research at Harvard Medical School, its affiliated research hospitals, and other leading research groups around the world. By combining programs in imaging, drug discovery, bioinformatics, clinical trials and genetics, the Harvard NeuroDiscovery Center aims to advance our understanding and treatment of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases. Prior to joining the Harvard NeuroDiscovery Center, Dr. Ivinson was a Special Advisor to the Provost at Harvard University. In 1993, Dr. Ivinson began his eight year tenure with the Nature Publishing Group where he served as Senior Editor, Editor in Chief, and Publisher of the monthly journals including: Nature Genetics, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Neuroscience and Nature Medicine. After completing undergraduate studies at the University of Aberdeen, and a Masters in Medical Genetics at Glasgow University in 1986, Dr. Ivinson joined the Department of Medical Genetics at the University of Manchester, England and was awarded a Ph.D. in 1991.


Dr. Edward M. Kaye is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Sarepta Therapeutics. Prior to this role he was Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of Sarepta, which changed its name from AVI BioPharma in 2012. Previously, he served as the Group Vice President and Therapeutic Head for Lysosomal Storage Disorders and Neurodegenerative Diseases at Genzyme Corporation. He studied medicine at the Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine and University Hospital, received his Child Neurology training at the Boston City Hospital, Boston University, and completed training as a Neurochemical Research Fellow (Geriatric Fellow) at the Bedford VA Hospital, Boston University in 1983. He was head of the section of Neurometabolism, Pediatric Neurology at The Floating Hospital for Children (Tufts University) and research fellow in gene therapy at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He has served as Chief of Pediatric Neurology and Director of the Barnett Mitochondrial Laboratory at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, Chief of Biochemical Genetics at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and Associate Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics. Dr. Kaye continues as a Neurological Consultant at the Children's Hospital of Boston and is on the editorial boards of a number of journals including Journal of Child Neurology. He also previously served on the board of Annals of Neurology. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Cytokinetics, Inc. and is on the Medical/Scientific Advisory Boards of the United Leukodystrophy Foundation, Spinal Muscular Atrophy Foundation, CureCMD, and CureDuchenne.


Dr. Roger Kornberg is currently the Wizner Professor of Medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine, where he has taught in the Department of Structural Biology since 1978. He received his B.A. degree in Chemistry from Harvard University followed by his Ph.D. in Chemical Physics from Stanford University. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England, he became an Assistant Professor of Biological Chemistry at Harvard Medical School before return to Stanford University to take up his current post. Dr. Kornberg's groundbreaking research in biochemistry has led to several fundamental discoveries in the fields of gene transcription, regulation, and expression. In 2006, Dr. Kornberg was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his studies of the molecular basis of eukaryotic transcription, a milestone discovery in genetics. His work has also been recognized by many other awards, including the Welch Prize (2001), the highest award in chemistry in the U.S., the Leopold Mayer Prize (2002), the highest award in biomedical sciences of the French Academy of Sciences. Dr. Kornberg is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and an honorary member of other academies and professional societies in the U.S., Europe, and Japan. He also serves as a director of Protalix BioTherapeutics and OpththaliX Inc. and Teva.


Dr. Clotilde Lagier-Tourenne trained as both a medical geneticist and a neuroscientist, earning her M.D. at the Medical School of Strasbourg, France and a Ph.D. from the University Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg. She received further training in Medical Genetics at Columbia University, where her work focused on the identification of new genetic causes of neurological disorders. After a postdoctoral training with Dr. Don Cleveland at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Dr. Lagier-Tourenne became an Assistant Professor at the University of California San Diego until 2015, when she moved to Massachusetts General Hospital. She received the Alphonse Laveran Prize, the Milton-Safenowitz Postdoctoral Fellowship from The ALS Association, the Muscular Dystrophy Association Career Development Award, and the Frick Foundation 2013 Award (conjointly with Dr. Luc Dupuis). In 2014, Dr. Lagier-Tourenne was awarded the 6th International Medicine Paulo Gontijo Award, which recognizes the most promising scientist under the age of 40 working on ALS. She is an Associate Member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.


Dr. Tom Maniatis is currently the Chairman of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York and Director of the Precision Medicine Initiative at Columbia. He received his B.A. and M.S. degrees in Biology and Chemistry from the University of Colorado, and his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Vanderbilt University. After postdoctoral studies in Cambridge, England and Harvard University, Dr. Maniatis held faculty positions at Harvard University, The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology. He is known for his pioneering work on the development of recombinant DNA methods and their application to the study of gene regulation. Dr. Maniatis is also a pioneer in biotechnology, founding Genetics Institute in 1980, ProScript in 1994, and Acceleron in 2004, where he chaired the scientific boards of these companies and served as a director. These companies developed a number of FDA approved drugs for the treatment of musculoskeletal diseases, hemophilia, anemia and multiple myeloma. Dr Maniatis has chaired research and drug development committees for the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association (ALSA), and has moved into the area of neuroscience where his laboratory is focusing on the molecular mechanisms underlying ALS. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine and is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including the NIH Director's Pioneer Award and the 2012 Lasker~Koshland Special Achievement Award in Medical Science.


Dr. Michal Preminger is Executive Director of the Harvard Medical School Office at Harvard University's Office of Technology Development where she joined in 2005. Prior to Harvard, she held a number of business development and technology development positions at Compugen Ltd., most recently as Vice President of Protein Therapeutics, responsible for the business management of the company's emerging drug discovery pipeline. Previously, Michal held several marketing and business development in the hi-tech industry, among others for Lucent Technologies. Michal also co-founded Anima Cell Metrology, a biotechnology startup focused on the real-time identification of proteins as they are synthesized in living cells. Michal holds an undergraduate degree in Medicine from the Hebrew University School of Medicine, a PhD from the Weizmann Institute of Science, and an MBA from INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France. She is currently serving as a member of the Board of Directors at Compugen Ltd.